Srinagar- Facing flak for frequent and unscheduled power cuts in Kashmir Valley, the Power Development Department (PDD) on Monday announced to disconnect electricity supply and file criminal cases against all those consumers who haven’t paid their power bills and have ‘willfully defaulted’.
“We will take tough action against all the defaulters who have not paid their electricity bills to the department. Their lines will be disconnected and criminal cases will be filed against them,” Principal Secretary of Power Development Department (PDD) H Rajesh Prasad told Kashmir Observer.
PDD, he said, wants to purchase additional electricity from other states but the lack of funds was making it difficult.
“The revenue generation is very poor, leading to constraints on the budget,” he added.
Earlier, chairing a meeting with the Managing Directors of Corporations and all Chief Engineers and senior officers of the department here to review the power supply position in J&K, particularly Kashmir valley, Prasad asked the engineers to strictly follow the schedule, emphasizing that no unscheduled power cuts shall be tolerated, an official spokesperson said.
During the review, he said, it was informed that a curtailment schedule has been prepared based on the power availability in the region.
The Principal Secretary, he said, also stressed that under no circumstances should J&K engage in overdrawal of power, which is important not only to stay within the budget but also to uphold grid discipline and prevent unwarranted disruptions in power supply.
“It was further highlighted that sufficient infrastructure has been created in recent years to improve the quality of power supply in the region. Additionally, J&K has availed loans under various Government of India schemes such as Atmanirbhar Bharat and LPS Rules, whereby all outstanding dues of power generators accumulated over the years have been cleared,” the spokesperson said.
“However, under the schemes the J&K has committed to the GoI that the losses shall be reduced to minimum to ensure the viability of the sector,” he added.
In line with the commitment to reduce the losses, the spokesperson said, the Principal Secretary issued explicit instructions to the engineers to put an all out effort to eradicate the menace of power pilferage by adopting stringent enforcement measures.
Prasad, he said, asked to maintain regular power supply in areas where people are regularly paying for their consumption, whereas in high loss areas, measures like metering and AB cabling be taken on priority.
“Principal Secretary noted with deep concern that despite dispatching more energy to the valley during this year compared to previous year, there has not been much improvement in the revenue realization,” he said
“As such, he directed the concerned officers to ensure that the bills are timely generated and distributed to the consumers. He also directed that the power outages be attended promptly and faults be cleared with minimum downtime particularly the damaged Distribution Transformers (DT) be replaced in the shortest possible time to avoid any inconvenience to people,” he added.
In conclusion, the spokesperson said, the Principal Secretary reaffirmed the government’s unwavering commitment towards stability and growth of the power sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The anticipated implementation of these directives is poised not only to improve the reliability of power supply but also to fortify the financial health of the power sector, ensuring a resilient and responsive energy infrastructure for the people of the region,” he added.
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